Sick Building Syndrome

voc-moldAccording to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “The term ‘sick building syndrome’ (SBS) is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified.”

“Sick buildings are those that encourage respiratory illness by concentrating Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and allergens like mold spores in poor ventilation areas,” writes Dominic Muren of TreeHugger. “These VOCs come from adhesives, paints, cleaners, and building materials which off gas long after the building is completed.”

Causes include inadequate ventilation, chemical contaminants from outdoor sources, and biological contaminants. Some of the solutions suggested by the EPA: Pollutant source removal or modification, increasing ventilation rates, and air cleaning. Seeking out non-toxic paints is also a valuable step in preventing SBS. In addition, the National Institutes of Health offers this page of SBS prevention and solution.

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Benefits of Green Cleaning

Studies have found that air inside a building can be two to five times as polluted as the air outdoors. "If you're going to be indoors 90 percent of the time, then you should pay attention to what's going on indoors. The choices we make in cleaning products, equipment, systems and procedures affect our economy and our very lives.
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